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Opinion: Halbig Decision Creates New Level Of Uncertainty For Obamacare

7.22.14

Bob Christenson wrote an article for Employee Benefit News on July 22, 2014 where he discusses the impact of the Halbig decision on Obamacare.

The immediate take-away for employers in Tuesday’s Halbig v. Burwell ruling is uncertainty about what the future brings for the Affordable Care Act. If the Halbig majority prevails, Obamacare has been dealt a serious, if not lethal, blow.

The statutory interpretation argument raised by the plaintiffs in Halbig was given little chance of success, but this attack has now gained substance and a voice through the Halbig majority opinion. Employers who had ramped up to comply with Obamacare now see that the statute may be vulnerable, and opponents have new hope.

Personally, I think that the D.C. Court of Appeals will take the case en banc – meaning the entire bench will hear the case, rather than a just select panel of judges – and reverse the panel’s decision. The Halbig case has proceeded so far along ideological lines: The district court judge (who affirmed the law) was a Clinton appointee. The Circuit Court judges who reversed were appointed by George H.W. Bush and George Bush. The dissenter was a Carter appointee.

Click here to read the full article.





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